Varsity winter sports celebrate ‘amazing’ Senior Nights


Liadan Solomon ’17 (center) hugs Caitlin Mosch ’18 (left) and Ruby Colby ’19 (right) after hearing their speech for her on Senior Night. The team celebrated their last home game of the regular season with a pre-game ceremony. Image courtesy of Mosch.

With the winter sports season coming to a close, Archer’s varsity soccer and basketball teams celebrated their senior players earlier this month.

Senior Night is an Archer tradition where lower classmen celebrate their sport team’s senior members during the team’s final home game. Athletes give speeches and gifts to honor their senior teammates, which is often an emotional experience.

The soccer team’s Senior Night took place on Tuesday Jan. 31, and basketball celebrated on Thursday, Feb. 9. Both games were held at Santa Monica College.


This year, the team includes two seniors, co-captains Rachel Pike and Liadan Solomon.

In the game, Archer defeated Milken 5-2, earning the Panthers the Liberty League Championship.

“I’ve been simultaneously looking forward to and dreading Senior Night since I started [on the team] as a freshman because I never wanted to be in the position where I was leaving soccer behind,” Solomon said. “Soccer at Archer has meant so much to me and has been a huge part of my experience at the school.”

From left to right Ruby Colby ’19, Liadan Solomon ’17 and Caitlin Mosch ’18 celebrate their win. The team has gone 2-0 against Milken this season. Image courtesy of Mosch.

To honor their seniors, the lower classmen on the team wrote speeches in honor of Pike and Solomon, which they presented ahead of the game.

“The ceremony is something that we’ve participated in for years now, and being the ones receiving the speeches was something I’ve imagined for so long,” Pike said. “All of the speeches were amazing.”

Solomon scored a hat trick in the game, making three consecutive goals. She described the game as “everything [she] dreamed of and more.”

“The last time I scored a hat trick was when I was in AYSO when I was seven,” Solomon said. “I was completely not expecting that to happen.”

Despite the fact that the players were crowned league champions, Pike emphasized that the best part of her Archer soccer experience has been spending time with her teammates.

“We’ve had a really good group this year skills-wise, and the players are also people you want to hang out with,” Pike said. “Practicing and bonding with them every day has been the best part of the season for me.”

The team will continue playing in the CIF tournament later this month.


From left to right, seniors Alyssa Downer and Briana Johnson pose for a photo at the beginning of the season. The pair are the only seniors on the basketball team. Image courtesy of Alex Feldman.

The basketball team celebrated a Senior Night of their own, honoring players Alyssa Downer and Briana Johnson.

Their Senior Night also concluded their team’s final game of the season with a 33-51 loss to Pilibos. The team was unable to qualify for the CIF tournament.

Nevertheless, both seniors expressed their gratitude for the team.

“I’ve never been on a team where everyone is this supportive and respectful of each other,” Johnson wrote in an email. “We are serious when we need to be, but we’re also always having fun. I think that is what makes this team and season so special and different from the previous years.”

Both Downer and Johnson have been playing basketball since middle school.

Photo by Anika Bhavnani
The varsity basketball team’s banner honoring seniors Alyssa Downer and Briana Johnson hangs at Santa Monica College on Senior Night. The team plays all of their home games at the college.

“It’s really special to share this experience with Briana,” Downer said. “We have both grown so close with the girls on the team over the years.”

Downer’s mother, Roz Downer, described the game as a “surreal experience.”

Juniors Joyce Baharona and Alex Feldman have co-captained the team this year.

“[Downer and Johnson’s] positivity is really helpful, especially because we’re such a young team,” Baharona said.

The varsity team’s roster includes four freshmen this year.

“They [Downer and Johnson] really brought us all together this year,” Feldman said. “It has been a fantastic season.”